Kauravas : Origin, History And Names

Khushboo Tehlan
Sep 27, 2019   •  423 views

Mahabharata is not only considered the longest text in Hindu mythology and vedas, but also is the finest written script spiralling around the concept of familial disputes over power, titles, wealth and property. The question of 'who is the true successor of the throne?' is the main theme of Mahabharata that is the cause of the end of the entire Hastinapur clan of Kauravas and Pandavas.

Dhritarashtra and Kuruvansh


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Dhritarashtra is an important character of the folk epic. He was the son of King Vichitravirya and Queen Ambika. However, his birth was not normal. When Vichitravirya died in a battle, Veda Vyasa, the brother of Vichitravirya, was called by their mother to impregnate the two Queens, Ambika and Ambalika, using his magical powers, in a manner to give birth to sons so that the kingdom of Hastinapur doesn't remain aloof of an heir. However, when Ved Vyasa came to impregnate Ambika, she got petrified because of the angry and scary look of Vyasa and shut her eyes. Consequently, her child was born blind at birth. But Dhritrashtra, along with his brother Pandu was given military training by Saint Kripacharya. Dhritrashtra was no less than Pandu in any way. But he was really upset on the fact that because of his blindness he wasn't given the opportunity to rule the kingdom and that the throne of Hastinapur was given to his brother Pandu. However, upon knowing the truth and being cursed by a sage, Pandu, along with his wives, Kunti and Madri, went to exile. Dhritarashtra, though got the kingdom, but was condemned of being jealous of his own younger brother.

Gandhari and Kauravas


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Gandhari, the princess of Gandhar and sister of Shakuni, the prince and later king of Gandhar, was married to Dhritrashtra. Upon knowing about the blindness of her husband, Gandhari took a vow to bandage her eyes throughout her life to understand the pain and suffering of her husband. Knowing about this decision of her sister, Shakuni, stabbed a knife into his thigh in frustration and took a vow to bring down the kingdom of Hastinapur and entire clan of Dhritarashtra to destruction. Gandhari was very much devoted to her husband and was blessed by Ved Vyasa to give birth to 100 children. However, Gandhari's pregnancy lasted really long. This was frustrating Dhritarashtra as in the meantime, Kunti has already given birth to a child. This was the point of dissatisfaction in Dhritrashtra as his son was not elder in the clan and would not be the rightful heir of the throne. In this frustration, he impregnated Gandhari's maid to get a son as soon as possible.

Gandhari was really upset of all the taunts she was receiving and after 15 months of her pregnancy, began banging her womb. As a result, instead of 100 children, a mass lump of grey mass was delivered by her. Ved Vyasa cut this lump into 100 pieces and dug them into huge pots of ghee and dug them under the ground for two years. In the meantime, Yuyutsu, the son of the maid was born, but since he was a vaishya putra, he was not considered as a true Kaurava and not a rightful heir of the throne. At the end of the second year, the first of the pots got opened and a beautiful child was born. However certain unnatural circumstances happened on his birth, which worried Bhishma, Dronacharya and Vidur as all the signs indicated towards the destruction of the empire. Thus, considering the child as a misfortune, Bhishma and Vidur suggested Gandhari to either drown the child in the holy Ganges or kill him. But both Dhritarashtra and Gandhari refused to do so. This child was the eldest of all Kauravas and was named Duryodhana.

Main Kauravas


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The two main Kauravas were Duryodhana and Dushasana. Their original names were Suyodhana and Sushasana (as naturally, a parent would never name their child as bad or bura), but because of their deeds and personality, they were called as Duryodhana and Dushasana. Both of them hated the Pandavas and even called them as Kaunteyas as they believed that the Pandavas were sons of devtas and not of their uncle Pandu. Both Duryodhana and Dushasana were in a cut throat hatred with the Pandavas. They hated the fact that everyone was partial to them and were in favour of the Pandavas. Duryodhana, personally, hated Bhima as he was younger, yet much stronger than him. He blamed the Pandavas for planning conspiracy to snatch the Kingdom of Hastinapur from its rightful heir, the Kauravas as Hastinapur was always under the Kuru rule and hence, it was Duryodhana, who should be made the king, as the eldest of the Kaurava sons. Duryodhana and Dushasana were capable warriors and loved each other and all of their brothers. Dushasana was very loyal to his elder brother and always supported him. The main decline of the Kauravas began with the involvement of their maternal uncle, Shakuni in the family matters. It was Shakuni, who generated poisonous ideas in the minds of the Kauravas to not just defeat, but humiliate or even kill the Pandavas.


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Dushasana is a much hated character of Mahabharata especially because of how he treated Draupadi. He was told to bring Draupadi to the darbar, after the Pandavas lost her in the game of Chausar (or chaupar), the infamous game of dice between Kauravas and Pandavas. But Dushasana, instead of following chivalry, took the violent way and dragged Draupadi by pulling her hair and initiating her cheerharan. Later, Draupadi prayed to Lord Krishna to make her saree of infinite length and protected her honour. Bhima, then took a vow that he will rip off Dushasana’s arms of his body and will tear his chest and drink his blood to avenge Draupadi’s insult. Draupadi too declared that unless she will wash her hair with Dushsana’s blood, she will neither wash them, nor tie them. The infamous Kaurva duo of Duryodhana and Dushasana are remembered only for their ill deeds. However, another of the Kaurava which is not talked about much is Yuyutsu, son of Gandhari’s maid. Though, he had not played any significant role in the Mahabharata epic, but he was the only Kaurava to have survived the famous war of Kurukshetra, popularly, the Mahabharata war.

Names Of Kauravas


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There are basically two theories about the birth of Kauravas, which should be remembered. One school of thought believes that Gandhari gave birth to 100 sons and one daughter named Duhsala and including Yuyutsu, would make the total count of Kauravas to 102. The second school believes that since Ved Vyasa gave Gandhari the boon to become mother of 100 children, she gave birth to 99 sons and one daughter and including Yuyutsu would make the total number of Kauravas to 101. And mostly, it is the first school of thought, which is being followed

So the names of all the Kauravas are:-

  1. Duryodhana

  2. Dushasana

  3. Dussalan

  4. Jalagandha

  5. Sama

  6. Saha

  7. Vindha

  8. Anuvindha

  9. Durmukha

  10. Chitrasena

  11. Durdarsha

  12. Durmarsha

  13. Dussaha

  14. Durmada

  15. Vikarna

  16. Dushkarna

  17. Durdhara

  18. Vivinsati

  19. Durmarshana

  20. Durvishaha

  21. Durvimochana

  22. Dushpradharsha

  23. Durjaya

  24. Jaitra

  25. Bhurivala

  26. Ravi

  27. Jayatsena

  28. Sujata

  29. Srutavan

  30. Srutanta

  31. Jayat

  32. Chitra

  33. Upachitra

  34. Charuchitra

  35. Chitraksha

  36. Sarasana

  37. Chitrayudha

  38. Chitravarman

  39. Suvarma

  40. Sudarsana

  41. Dhanurgraha

  42. Vivitsu

  43. Subaahu

  44. Nanda

  45. Upananda

  46. Kratha

  47. Vatavega

  48. Nishagin

  49. Kavashin

  50. Paasi

  51. Vikata

  52. Soma

  53. Suvarchasas

  54. Dhanurdhara

  55. Ayobaahu

  56. Mahabaahu

  57. Chithraamga

  58. Chithrakundala

  59. Bheemaratha

  60. Bheemavega

  61. Bheemabela

  62. Ugraayudha

  63. Kundhaadhara

  64. Vrindaaraka

  65. Dridhavarma

  66. Dridhakshathra

  67. Dridhasandha

  68. Jaraasandha

  69. Sathyasandha

  70. Sadaasuvaak

  71. Ugrasravas

  72. Ugrasena

  73. Senaany

  74. Aparaajitha

  75. Kundhasaai

  76. Dridhahastha

  77. Suhastha

  78. Suvarcha

  79. Aadithyakethu

  80. Ugrasaai

  81. Kavachy

  82. Kradhana

  83. Kundhy

  84. Bheemavikra

  85. Alolupa

  86. Abhaya

  87. Dhridhakarmaavu

  88. Dhridharathaasraya

  89. Anaadhrushya

  90. Kundhabhedy

  91. Viraavy

  92. Chithrakundala

  93. Pradhama

  94. Amapramaadhy

  95. Deerkharoma

  96. Suveeryavaan

  97. Dheerkhabaahu

  98. Kaanchanadhwaja

  99. Kundhaasy

  100. Virajas

101 was a daughter named Duhsala and 102 would be Yuyutsu, who is perhaps considered as a Vaishya putra rather than a part of the Kauravas.